Beat the Devil

1953

Action / Adventure / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Romance

7
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 54%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 7732

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: LINUS
March 12, 2016 at 08:48 AM

Director

Cast

Peter Sellers as Billy Dannreuther
Humphrey Bogart as Billy Dannreuther
Jennifer Jones as Mrs. Gwendolen Chelm
Gina Lollobrigida as Maria Dannreuther
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
636.62 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 1 / 4
1.34 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 3 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 6 / 10

Amusing, sure, if not a `classic.' But enjoyable enough for what it is

Pleasant enough piffle – a mildly diverting comedy-adventure hybrid – Beat The Devil has a belated reputation as the last word in dry drollery, an arch in-joke to whose hidden hilarity only the select and sophisticated few are privy. Humphrey Bogart didn't think so, saying `Only the phonies think it's funny. It's a mess.' But one of the movie's formidable champions, Pauline Kael, picked up on his line and trumped it: `Yes, but it may be the funniest mess of all time.' Bogart may be the shrewder critic here; after all, he sank his own dough into the venture, which went down like the ill-starred freighter upon which the cast put to sea. Only latterly has it has it acquired dubious `classic' stature.

Beat The Devil (directed by John Huston, who co-wrote the script with the up-and-coming Truman Capote) improvises a loose, comic riff on the international adventure genre. Thankfully, it's not unhinged or absurd enough to be a dreaded `spoof,' and emphatically not one (as it's become a commonplace to assume) of the noir cycle. In narrative, point of view and look (there's no coherent visual style), Beat The Devil bears not the slightest resemblance to film noir, which, by this point, was slyly starting to parody itself anyway.

The plot's McGuffin concerns uranium deposits in central Africa, which draw a disreputable and multinational crew of opportunists who hope to strike it rich by sticking it to their various motherlands. The joke lies in that these bumblers keep getting taken in by one another's cover stories, pretensions and lies – and falling for one another's spouses. It's not a bad joke, but it needs a bit more rigor to flesh it out from a skit to a feature film.

Of course it's funny, if haphazardly. A blonde Jennifer Jones, juggling an English accent as if with a mouth full of prunes, comes straight out of screwball comedy (who knew?), and Gina Lollobrigida (when not waylaid by her own attempts at English) occasionally matches her. Peter Lorre, looking much like the short and rotund Capote of the future, again displays his instinctive flair for subversive comedy (his past in sinister parts limited what might have been a long and enjoyable career). And Robert Morley, crisp as a toasted if unusually thick crumpet, serves up every line like a butler bearing a decanter of vintage port. Bogart, on the other hand, can't persuasively hide his age and infirmity, and his role as debonair lover and man of action demands superhuman suspension of disbelief (maybe he was just thinking of all the money he was going to lose).

Yet having fun doesn't have to mean that plot is irrelevant, some boring old rule made to be broken. Part of the movie's folklore is that Capote stayed up all night writing the next day's pages; maybe so, but didn't he or Huston know where they were going? Once the characters wade up on the North African shore to be apprehended by `Arabs' (surely, Bedouins?), there's no more pretense of a cohesive script or a halfway satisfying storyline. Finding a plausible way out of all the intrigue, however tongue-in-cheek it might have been, wouldn't have killed the laughs, now, would it?

Reviewed by clanciai 10 / 10

Humphrey Bogart associated with a bunch of hilarious scoundrels to their scandal end.

What a wonderful comedy! In every scene it is evident how the director enjoyed filming it with such formidable actors cutting out such hilarious figures, all excelling each other in eccentric idiosyncracy. It's difficult to say who is best, they are all on top, Jennifer Jones as the flirty young wife, Gina Lollobrigida at her most beautiful and seductive, Robert Morley as the king of fools, Peter Lorre and all the others, and Humphrey Bogart giving probably his heartiest last laugh in all his films. It's a criminal comedy at its best bordering on parody all the way but with great irony and wit - the dialogue is thoroughly enjoyable and thick all the way, and the diction is perfect, even for those who speak with accents. I saw it 50 years ago and had forgotten everything except the car ride, the centerpiece of the comedy, and least of all did I remember that it was so hilariously funny. The only serious figure enters the last, and he has very little to say under the circumstances. This must be John Huston's funniest film.

Reviewed by JLRVancouver 7 / 10

Off-beat "Bogart comedy" with outstanding cast

Bogart's a shady tough guy who has cut a deal with Robert Morley's band of scoundrels (including the inimitable (but often imitated) Peter Lorre) to swindle some central African country out of a uranium deposit. Enter a supercilious ex-Royal Marine gentry-wannabe (Edward Underdown) and his compulsive liar wife (Jennifer Jones), who are heading to Africa on the same boat and you get this off-beat comedy directed by the great John Huston. A bit slow at times, "Beat the Devil" isn't exactly 'laff-a-minute', but the situations are amusing, the script witty in a dry way, and the delivery is excellent (especially Morley'). As a bonus, Bogart's wife is played by the gorgeous Gina Lollobrigida, eye-candy that shamelessly adds a half point to my rating. Good fun – worth watching.

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